Presentation (Project) Title

Stick It: Can Celebrity Endorsements of Childhood Vaccinations Influence Compliance?

Mentor Information

Donna Ettel-Gambino (Judy Genshaft Honors College)

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to gain insight into caretakers’ education profiles, the influence of celebrity endorsements and opinions during the immunization decision making process, and their fear that vaccinations may cause autism in children/ infants. This study was limited to the caretakers of students enrolled at a rigorous, African American private middle school for students qualifying for need-based scholarships in Saint Petersburg, Florida. A causal comparative approach was utilized. The independent variables were the caretaker’s education level. The dependent variables were the caretaker’s responses to the survey questions regarding knowledge and sources of vaccination information. Descriptive statistics and a multivariate analysis of variance was conducted to compare trends across groups. Overall, caretakers (25%) reported that their opinions on vaccinations were admittedly influenced by celebrity endorsements/opinions and many of the caretakers (38%) were identified as believing that vaccinations in children and infants may cause Autism (p<0.0001). Additionally, caretakers (74%) who have a high school degree or a GED, believe that vaccines may cause autism when given to children/infants when compared to caretakers who have some college education or an Associate degree (17%) and of caretakers (21%) who have at least a bachelor’s degree (p<0.0001). This information is the first of its kind in the area of caretakers’ education level and the barriers present that could prevent them from vaccinating their children. This information may assist policymakers and other key stakeholders in Florida—and nationally—in identifying, designing and implementing strategies to provide caretakers with the appropriate childhood immunization information.

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Stick It: Can Celebrity Endorsements of Childhood Vaccinations Influence Compliance?

The purpose of this study was to gain insight into caretakers’ education profiles, the influence of celebrity endorsements and opinions during the immunization decision making process, and their fear that vaccinations may cause autism in children/ infants. This study was limited to the caretakers of students enrolled at a rigorous, African American private middle school for students qualifying for need-based scholarships in Saint Petersburg, Florida. A causal comparative approach was utilized. The independent variables were the caretaker’s education level. The dependent variables were the caretaker’s responses to the survey questions regarding knowledge and sources of vaccination information. Descriptive statistics and a multivariate analysis of variance was conducted to compare trends across groups. Overall, caretakers (25%) reported that their opinions on vaccinations were admittedly influenced by celebrity endorsements/opinions and many of the caretakers (38%) were identified as believing that vaccinations in children and infants may cause Autism (p<0.0001). Additionally, caretakers (74%) who have a high school degree or a GED, believe that vaccines may cause autism when given to children/infants when compared to caretakers who have some college education or an Associate degree (17%) and of caretakers (21%) who have at least a bachelor’s degree (p<0.0001). This information is the first of its kind in the area of caretakers’ education level and the barriers present that could prevent them from vaccinating their children. This information may assist policymakers and other key stakeholders in Florida—and nationally—in identifying, designing and implementing strategies to provide caretakers with the appropriate childhood immunization information.